Getting more sales is the dream of every business, especially during the holiday shopping season. However, despite getting record-breaking sales, managing shipping and fulfillment processes efficiently is vital. Shipping delays during the holiday season can be a real problem for online merchants.
According to a survey, 94% of survey respondents believe they should be informed about delays before asking. Holiday sales are expected to grow 7 to 9% in the United States this year. As the holiday shopping season is just there, therefore; businesses must prepare well for this surge in demand.
Here in this guide, we will provide the best tips to manage shipping challenges this holiday season.
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Keep a check on the holiday shipping deadlines
Almost every shipping carrier offers a mailing and shipping deadline for the holiday season. Whether you use USPS, UPS, or FedEx, it’s vital to keep a check on their shipping deadlines.
- The USPS (United States Postal Service) announced its holiday shipping deadline in October.
- Find and bookmark the shipping schedule of USPS for holiday shipping here.
- Their shipping schedule usually includes cut-offs and deadlines for domestic shipments, military mail, and international mail.
However, check their holiday shipping schedule if your business uses any other carrier, such as UPS or FedEx.
Save your time by printing shipping or return labels
Printing your return and shipping labels in bulk can save you significant time on every order.
There are tools available that allow you to buy and print different shipping labels simultaneously. To complete this process, you just need to visit your order page. Choose the orders you want to fulfill and select to create shipping labels.
Get shipping labels and print them for your orders quickly to save time.
- Even if your return or shipping label is lost, you can use Munbyn to print your labels within no time.
- This thermal printer is quick and efficient for quickly printing as many shipping labels as you want.
- Moreover, the printing quality of this lucrative thermal printer is top-notch. So, you can easily rely on MUNBYN thermal printers during the hectic holiday shopping season.
Consequently, you can reduce your printing and fulfillment time significantly.
Create a well-optimized shipping plan
When it's to shipping an order, ecommerce stores have many shipping options to choose from. Never wait until the last minute to strategize your shipping plan, especially for the holiday season.
Consider suitable shipping options and stick to these to fulfill your orders more efficiently.
You can also prefer working with multiple shipping options, especially during the holiday season. Some of the most common yet effective ones to consider include the following:
Consider an in-house shipping option
In-house shipping is an effective option for small to medium-sized businesses. This shipping option can give you more control over the shipping process. An in-house shipping option is also suitable as it offers quick communication between customer support and fulfillment.
However, with the increase in demand, managing all shipments via in-house shipping may get costly.
Choose one or more carriers
Multiple carrier options are also available out there to choose from. Some of the most popular options that can make the shipping process easier for you include:
FedEx is a bit pricier shipping option than USPS. However, this is a reliable option to ship your orders worldwide safely. FedEx also offers multiple shipping options to choose from.
USPS is a lucrative shipping carrier mainly because of its easy instructions and consistent pricing strategy. It also offers a variety of shipping options, including retail mail, first-class mail, priority mail, etc. You can choose your option based on your business needs.
UPS offers multiple shipping options for international and national shipping. From freight shipping to third-party fulfillment, and anything in-between, UPS offers all shipping options to meet your needs.
Opt for Buy Online Pickup in-store option
The customers at present prefer to get their orders faster. At times, same-day or next-day shipping options aren’t suitable to consider. Instead, offering BOPIS can be a preferable shipping option. Buy online, and pick up in-store option is becoming a quickly adopted solution. Therefore, you should also add it to your well-optimized shipping strategy.
Outsource fulfillment services to a 3PL
The holiday season brings a dramatic increase in your orders. Outsourcing your shipping solution from a 3PL can be a lucrative solution. This will make your get ready and manage this holiday rush more efficiently.
Although working with any third party for shipment seems a bit overwhelming initially. However, finding a trustworthy option can make things easier and more manageable. Always perform your due diligence to choose the right option.
You can choose one or mix the multiple options to create a well-optimized shipping plan for the holiday season. The shipping options will strictly depend on your business type and size.
Consider your return policy before these happen
Returns aren’t the aspect that most business owners want to consider firsthand. Still, offering an easier return policy is vital to increase your business. Offering an efficient return policy is one of the key selling points of your business.
So, you must prepare an effective return policy for your business, especially during the holiday season. Here we have some effective tips to consider in this regard:
- A 30-day return policy is one of the most commonly adopted options for ecommerce businesses. Some holiday gifts may miss their duration. So, offer extended windows to make the process more efficient.
- Another effective return policy you can offer for the holiday season is mid-January returns. Offering return dates after holidays will let you earn more loyal customers.
- Self-service returns are another important option to consider here. This practice allows customers to start a return process without contacting the seller. The customer can initiate a return with a few clicks only.
In this, you can use a quick Munbyn thermal label printer to print the label if lost and then send the package to a carrier.
Reuse old boxes to save more
Besides making your shipping process efficient during the holiday season, you should also learn how to save more while packing orders. Reuse your old packaging boxes to save more. You can even cover and use the boxes with markings and shipping labels.
You just need to ensure that the old details are properly covered while packing the order.
Don’t forget to consider the weather while shipping your parcels
When estimating the shipping duration of your orders, consider weather conditions also.
- Add some extra days to the estimated shipping duration during harsh, cold, and windy weather. This will keep you from getting complaints regarding shipping delays.
- Moreover, it is also important to use weather-proof shipping labels and packaging to avoid any hassle during shipping.
- Paper or ink shipping labels can easily smudge or bleed. Even a few water sprinkles can damage this type of label. So, it would be better to opt for waterproof shipping labels in snowy or rainy weather.
Add shipping deadlines on your site for the holiday season
You might have noticed this earlier, but most of the ecommerce websites have included holiday shipping deadlines on their sites.
The pop-ups usually mention, “Place your order before the “date” to get it delivered before 25th December”.
It isn't necessary to keep your words the same, but adding information like that is important.
Although these pop-ups usually feel a bit obstructive. However, these are utilized for good during the holiday shopping season. This quick notification will let you cover the bases when someone emails you about a delayed shipment.
Simply, adding shipping deadlines on your website is the best way to cover your business. Adding this quick detail is beneficial for both you and your consumers.
Stock shipping and packages supplies in bulk
Consider the physical items required to ensure a consistent fulfillment process in place during the holiday season. Now check the number of such items you have in stock.
The worst thing you can imagine is holiday shipping delays because your shipping and packaging supplies get out of stock. If you need sticky notes, packaging wraps, or an updated thermal printer, manage to get all these things now. You can invest in a MUNBYN label printer to accelerate your label printing process in the best possible way.
Avoid stocking everything just a day before the Black Friday sale. Make a proper plan to buy essential supplies in bulk beforehand to avoid any unnecessary halt in fulfillment.
Setting up order tracking is vital
Last but not the least, it’s vital to set up an order tracking system. This will keep you from getting continuous calls from frustrated customers anymore.
It is also important to respond to your customers regarding shipping as quickly as possible. Customers may get frustrated by not getting a response from businesses quickly.
The holiday season is just here. Every online business needs to optimize its holiday shipping plan. So they can easily meet the growing demands of their customers. Here we have mentioned some of the best and proven tactics to manage your shipping process during this busy holiday season. Ensure to use follow these and enjoy better results.